Franconia Sculpture Park Receives Sally Ordway Irvine Award



Patricia A. Mitchell, Ordway President and CEO, presenting the Sally Award to John Hock, Franconia Artistic Director and CEO on June 9, 2014

We are thrilled and honored to announce that Franconia Sculpture Park was recently awarded a Sally Ordway Irvine Award, which honors Minnesota artists and institutions for extraordinary achievement in the visual, performing and literary arts. Franconia Sculpture Park was bestowed the Vision award which recognizes “exemplary creative thinking and action in support or development of a body of work that has had long-term impact on the community”. Artistic Director/CEO John Hock accepted the award on Monday, June 9th, at an exciting celebration hosted by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In his acceptance speech, John Hock, Artistic Director and CEO of Franconia, remarked on the impact of the Sally Award, “We are honored to accept this award on behalf of all who have been inspired by Franconia’s freewheeling spirit and who have gained meaningful arts experiences at Franconia over the past 18 years. Driven by a belief that sculpture enables people to view the world through a diversity of perspectives and a philosophy that public art brings communities together in unparalleled ways, we at Franconia feel deeply privileged to conduct this important work for the Minnesota community. We are proud to share this special moment in Franconia’s history with our founders, friends, partners, and supporters, whose passion and shared vision sustain this important place.”

Since 1992, the Sally Awards have honored individuals and institutions that strengthen and enrich the state of Minnesota with their commitment to the arts and arts education. The awardees’ talents and determination help make Minnesota’s quality of life excellent and its culture unique and rich. The Sally Award is based on the “First Trust Award” presented in 1986 to Sally Ordway Irvine, whose initiative, vision and commitment inspired the creation of Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Her award is permanently installed in the Ordway’s Marzitelli Foyer.

The Sally Awards are a living tribute to the vision of Sally Ordway Irvine, who mobilized the community to support her dream of a new performing arts center in downtown Saint Paul. The awards are presented annually to honor individuals and institutions that strengthen and enrich Minnesota with their commitment to the arts, arts education and arts access. Throughout the past two decades, the Ordway has been privileged to honor more than 80 outstanding artists, administrators, volunteers and organizations through these awards. To honor Sally’s commitment to all of the arts, the Sally Awards are presented annually to acknowledge achievement and contribution in five areas: Vision, Initiative, Commitment, Education, and Arts Access. Each year, one person or organization is honored in each of the five categories. More than 150 individuals and organizations from throughout Minnesota were nominated for this year’s Sally Awards.  The 2013 Sally Award recipients were selected by a committee consisting of Ordway representatives, the 2012 Sally Award recipients, Minnesota State Arts Board and media representatives, and other leaders from the Minnesota arts and cultural community.

“Minnesota is renowned for the depth and breadth of its artistic life, from the Arrowhead region to the Minnesota River Valley and everywhere in between,” said Patricia A. Mitchell, Ordway president and CEO. “Every year, the Sally Awards recognize the outstanding creative talents of individuals and organizations that make this such a vibrant place to live.”

We are honored to be among the distinguished list of 2013 honorees, including Elizabeth Jaakola (Education), Kristine Sorensen (Initiative), James Samuel “Cornbread” Harris, Sr. (Commitment), and MacPhail Online (Arts Access). Click here to view the full list of recipients.


In celebration of this recognition, Franconia’s Board of Directors has established a $2,500 challenge grant that will generously match donations made by June 30th. If you’d like to make a contribution in honor of this special moment in Franconia’s history, you can make a secure gift at We wouldn’t have made it this far without the generous support of friends like you. With your support, we are poised to grow and sustain Franconia well into the future.

Thank you for your many contributions, in so many ways, over the past 18 years!



  1. Congrats Franconia Sculpture Park! Such an amazing tribute to your dedication! Thank you for your visionary leadership and unorthodox think, do and create tank, in bringing the Arts and community together. You consistently showcase a very cool, creative, and mind-blowing venue. The exciting, new heights you reach with your unique approach inspire us to open and expand our own minds and perspectives. You truly have earned recognition and deserve the Sally Award. Thank you for your incredible devotion to the Arts and the great work you do right here in the stunning and beautiful St. Croix River valley.

  2. Congrats John !!!

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